For this month’s BOM, I’m hoping to challenge some of you to sew outside of your comfort zone. I love the precision of paper piecing so for this month we’re going to make the Icky Thump block from 627 Handworks. If you didn’t receive a copy of the pattern at our December guild meeting or need more copies, please email me. For our design aesthetic this year, the background should pieces should be white(#1 & #6 on the pattern) and the other fabrics should be solids. It really makes this block feel modern.
If you are not new to paper piecing, feel free to just jump right in! For those of you who are new to this, there are many great tutorials online, but here is a link to a video that shows how I paper piece. I highly recommend that you watch it. I will also walk you through it below with some tips and tricks along the way.
First and foremost, if you are printing out your own copies you always want to make sure that your printer settings are set to print at 100% (not scale to fit). Otherwise your block won’t finish at the correct size. You will need to print out 4 copies of the pattern to make 1 complete block. In the photo below you’ll see that I labeled which fabrics are to be used for each number. I find that very helpful so you don’t accidentally place a fabric in the wrong spot.
Okay, let’s start piecing. The first thing that you do, is use a straight edge (a bookmark in the photo below) to make a crease on the line between piece #1 and #2. This helps you to know where you should place your fabric on the other side.
Remember, you’ll be sewing directly on the solid lines so your fabrics are placed on the BACK of the printout. Also, when you place your fabric for these first pieces you want to make sure your piece is big enough all the way around to account for the ¼” seam allowance.
In the photo below, you can see that I’ve placed the white fabric down over the #1 piece, making sure that it’s completely covering it. (Tip: you can use a dab of stick glue to hold the first piece in place on the paper). Next, lay your 2nd fabric over it, making sure that it’s big enough that once you’ve sewn and ironed it open, it completely covers piece #2. (Tip: hold it up to the light just a bit so you can see through the paper). Pin the fabrics directly to the paper.
Next you’re going to repeat the process. Use your straight edge to fold back the paper on line #3. You should have excess fabric that needs to be trimmed. Here is where you can create your ¼” seam allowance. In the photo below you’ll see the yellow ruler that I’m using. It’s called the “Add-A-Quarter” ruler and it’s awesome for paper piecing! You just place it against the folded paper and trim. Don’t worry if you don’t have one though, you can just use a regular ruler and trim ¼” away from the edge of the paper.
Once your edges are trimmed it’s time to add piece #3. Take a piece of fabric that is bigger all around (remember those seam allowances!). Line it up along the straight edge that you just trimmed. Pin it in place to keep it from shifting.
it over and sew directly on the line between 2 and 3.
I hope that you found this helpful and can’t wait to see the blocks you made!